Oscar Favorites: 10 Best Supporting Actor Winners

As I mentioned with my favorite Best Supporting Actress winners post, this category features films that aren’t usually considered “Oscar-worthy” but features undeniably great performances.

In chronological order, my 10 favorite Best Supporting Actor Winners!

Harold Russell

Harold Russell in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Harold Russell as Homer Parrish in The Best Years of Our Lives
Competition: Charles Coburn for The Green Years; William Demarest for The Jolson Story; Claude Rains for Notorious; Clifton Webb for The Razor’s Edge
Other Nominations: N/A

Edmund Gwenn

Edmund Gwenn in Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street
Competition: Charles Bickford for The Farmer’s Daughter; Thomas Gomez for Ride the Pink Horse; Robert Ryan for Crossfire; Richard Widmark for Kiss of Death
Other Nominations: Mister 880

Jack Lemmon

Jack Lemmon in Mister Roberts (1955)

Jack Lemmon as Ens. Frank Thurlowe Pulver in Mister Roberts
Competition: Arthur Kennedy for Trial; Joe Mantell for Marty; Sal Mineo for Rebel Without a Cause; Arthur O’Connell for Picnic
Other Nominations: The rest of his nominations came from performances in a leading role!
Some Like It Hot; The Apartment; Days of Wine and Roses; Save the Tiger (WON); The China Syndrome; Tribute; Missing

Joel Grey

Joel Grey in Cabaret (1972)

Joel Grey as Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret
Competition: Eddie Albert for The Heartbreak Kid; James Caan for The Godfather; Robert Duvall for The Godfather; Al Pacino for The Godfather
Other Nominations: N/A

Christopher Walken

Christopher Walken in The Deer Hunter (1978)

Christopher Walken as Nick in The Deer Hunter
Competition: Bruce Dern for Coming Home; Richard Farnsworth for Comes a Horseman; John Hurt for Midnight Express; Jack Warden for Heaven Can Wait
Other NominationsCatch Me If You Can

Kevin Kline

Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

Kevin Kline as Otto in A Fish Called Wanda
Competition: Alec Guinness for Little Dorrit; Martin Landau for Tucker: The Man and His Dream; River Phoenix for Running on Empty; Dean Stockwell for Married to the Mob
Other Nominations: N/A

Joe Pesci

Joe Pesci in Goodfellas (1990)

Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas
Competition: Bruce Davison for Longtime Companion; Andy Garcia for The Godfather: Part III; Graham Greene for Dances with Wolves; Al Pacino for Dick Tracy
Other Nominations: Raging Bull

Javier Bardem

Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men (2007)

Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh for No Country for Old Men
Competition: Casey Affleck for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; Philip Seymour Hoffman for Charlie Wilson’s War; Hal Holbrook for Into the Wild; Tom Wilkinson for Michael Clayton
Other Nominations: His other nominations came from performances in a leading role!
Before Night FallsBiutiful

Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008)

Heath Ledger as Joker in The Dark Knight
Competition: Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt; Josh Brolin for Milk; Michael Shannon for Revolutionary Road; Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder
Other Nominations: Brokeback Mountain (Best Actor in a Leading Role)

Christoph Waltz

Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Christoph Waltz as Col. Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds
Competition: Matt Damon for Invictus; Christopher Plummer for The Last Station; Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones; Woody Harrelson for The Messenger
Other Nominations: Django Unchained (WON)

Am I missing any good winners? Who are your favorite Best Supporting Actor winners in Oscar history?

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